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Lesson from UK Snow: How to PROTECT PETS through FREEZING temperatures?

“Beast from the East” has brought freezing winds, snow, subzero temperatures and havoc to the Europe in general and UK in particular. As a result, it was put out a “don’t forget your pets” warning with plunging temperatures and heavy snow putting the animal welfare charity on high alert.

The UK has felt the bite of frost because the “Beast from the East” has shrouded Europe in arctic temperatures.

Travel is almost impossible in some areas by reasons of delayed train services and hospitals across have had to cancel outpatient appointments, otherwise people have been advised not to travel unless it is extremely necessary in some parts of the UK.

Pets can be at risk in freeze weather.

Animal lovers in the UK are being warned to take emergency measures in order to protect creatures great and small as the huge freeze sweeps across the country. With nearly 18 inches of snow and biting wind chill sending temperatures to below minus -10C, pets face life-threatening hazards if owners do take vital life-saving action. Britain’s biggest animal welfare charity’s alert is highlighting how dogs, cats, rabbits, horses and ornamental fish all need safeguarding in some of the worst winter weather for years.

UK Blizzards

“The RSPCA is releasing advice to ensure animals and wildlife stay safe during the cold spell. As parts of the country are waking up to a layer of snow, it’s important to remember to keep animals safe and warm and to contact the RSPCA in case of emergencies.” Said Operational Superintendent Matt Sacks.

It is given the following advice to owners to help protect pets.

Rabbits and Guinea Pigs

Rabbit hutches need to be made warm with extra bedding if rabbits are being kept outside

They recommend guinea pigs are housed indoors in case temperatures drop under 15C. If rabbits are left outside, they need to have lots of extra bedding and their hutches protected from the weather with covers that provide winter insulation, although ensuring there is adequate ventilation.

Additionally, hutches should be raised off the ground by at least four inches and placed in a sheltered position which faces away from wind and rain. Rabbit hutches have to be made warm with extra bedding if they are being kept outside.

Cats

Cat hides from snow in UK

Cats should have constant access to the house or a warm inside area, such as an outbuilding or barn, with appropriate heating. Their bedding or sleeping areas must be warm, dry and away from any draughts.

Care should be taken with antifreeze and rock salt since they are both poisonous to pets.

Dogs

A dog runs through snow

Elderly dogs should be dressed in a comfortably fitting coat to keep them warm on walks and kept away from frozen ponds, lakes and rivers. It is essential that their paws do not get impacted with snow.

Caged Birds

Aviaries, coops and runs should have additional dry bedding, and the enclosures protected from wind and snows.

Birds should have access to plenty of food and fresh water as they eat more in the cold.

Bird s need to be stocked up with extra food during the winter as they eat more

Fish

Ponds should be checked daily and some of the surface kept unfrozen to stop poisonous gasses building up.

Ice should not broken, as this harms the fish, but instead melted carefully with a saucepan of hot water, making sure never to pour hot water, salt or antifreeze in pond or bird baths.

Horses and Livestock

Livestock need extra care in snow, being easily exposed to the elements

Animals should have shelter to escape adverse weather and owners must be prepared to provide extra, good quality feed. Water troughs and buckets must also be kept ice-free. Waterproof rugs for horses gives added protection from the cold and wet weather.

Farmers and smallholders should be extra cautious about young animals and whether they need extra protection from the cold weather.

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